Campaign latest: Pay ballot dates confirmed

The union’s National Executive has agreed that a national ballot for industrial action will be held between 18 March and 29 April.

PCS’s pay claim (see below) will be formally submitted to the Cabinet Office and all employers in the dispute. All delegated pay talks remain suspended.

If our claim is not met by 18 February 2019, we will consider that a trade dispute exists between us.

A campaign timetable is being prepared for all branches. The ballot questions will be on strike action and action short of a strike.

Fighting Fund subs decision
The strike action plan involves sustained, targeted strike action in areas agreed by the NDC, together with national, all-member action.  This would include specific groups of members who, if they take prolonged strike action, would have a disproportionate impact on important work and on the day-to-day running of important services. The possibility of a disorderly exit from the EU also could mean a substantial increase in the industrial leverage of some of our members, particularly at the borders.

The NEC has agreed to raise subscriptions on all members by 50p per month from 1 June, with the exception of those in non-recognised areas who pay a reduced rate. The money raised will be ring-fenced for the Fighting Fund, which is particularly important for assisting members taking sustained action, whether as part of the pay campaign or as part of other disputes.
The ballot includes all members in UK civil service impacted by the pay cap.  Bargaining areas not included within the scope of the ballot will be supported in conducting simultaneous ballots for action in separate, but coordinated, disputes.

Members working in the devolved areas of Scotland, Wales and NI, will be consulted separately about pay issues and any subsequent call to ballot, depending on those respective governments’ attitude on pay.

Organising to win
All organising efforts should now be focused on delivering a high turnout and a resounding yes vote in this ballot.

A survey of members conducted in January shows very strong support for the claim and for action, with many hundreds saying they would be willing to help by: phoning other PCS members about the ballot; volunteering as a PCS Advocate; attending campaign events, or lobbying in parliament. More than 2,000 of respondents said they would be willing to hand out leaflets at work.

Take action:

  • If your AGM is yet to be held, go all out to publicise it and get a high attendance. Use AGMs as combined workplace meetings on the pay campaign. Take ‘pledge cards’ to sign up volunteers for pay campaign activities.
  • Ask members, fellow reps and Advocates to commit to a phone-banking stint shortly after the ballot opens, between 20 and 24 March. We’re aiming to get 1,000 people involved in phoning members about the ballot. A training video and script will be made available to volunteers, as well as software to enable members to call from anywhere.
  • Ask members to volunteer to take on specific tasks, such as handing out leaflets, recruiting colleagues, reminding friends at work to vote, helping to organise meetings and events, attending a lobby of parliament/speaking to their MP. Talk to them about signing up as an Advocate.
  • Organise it so that your branch reps speaks to every member face-to-face about the ballot. Branch secretaries and organisers will be given access to an App that contains a list of all members in your branch arranged by workplace.

Pay claim
Following a widespread consultation, the NEC agreed the national PCS pay claim for 2019 is as follows:

  • A cost of living pay increase for all workers in the Civil Service and its related bodies of 10% with a minimum underpin of £2,400 and a Living Wage of £10 per hour nationally and £11.55 in London.
  • National bargaining on pay across the Civil Service and its related areas.
  • Equal pay and coherence of pay and terms and conditions across those areas.
  • A mechanism to ensure staff can move to the maximum of their grade.

The pay increase to be fully funded and not linked to detrimental changes to terms and conditions.

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